Dear Amy:

I am a fat wife. My husband would love it if I were to lose weight. Why don't I?

My husband is emotionally distant. I woke up the other day and my first thought was, "I'm so hungry for some attention and affection." Then I realized that this might be the reason I overeat.

He was looking at pornography on the computer, and I said to him that there is something wrong, because he has a lonely wife who would love some attention, yet that trash is what occupies him. He didn't respond; obviously he doesn't care.

I have told him that the way to make a woman beautiful and a great lover is to tell her she already is. I have no sexual feeling toward him. I was angry and told him I was going to try to weigh 300 pounds by the end of the year. I was bluffing, but he didn't know that.

I don't leave him because I have no money and at least I am in a house. The alternative would be worse. He has several health problems, and I am hoping he dies soon.

- Fat Wife

Dear Wife:

You cannot give your husband responsibility for your life. When you do that, you hand over your personal power to someone who doesn't deserve to have it and most likely doesn't even want it.

You hold the key to your survival and the responsibility to honor your body by trying to be healthy. You need friends, support, professional help and a path out of your current situation.

Overeaters Anonymous is a 12-step support group for overeaters who want to explore the causes behind their behavior. Check the group's Web site for a meeting near you:

» READ MORE: www.oa.org

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A book you should read for insight and inspiration is

Passing for Thin: Losing Half My Weight and Finding My Self

, by Frances Kuffel (2004, Broadway). This is not a how-to weight-loss book but a memoir written by a woman who walked your path, one step at a time.

Send questions via e-mail to askamy@tribune.com or by mail to "Ask Amy," Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.